The guy knocked on my door at *0830* AM. Fortunately I was up, but
just barely. No coffee yet. I stumbled outside...
First thing was to bring the fiber into the basement. It had been run from the pole a few days earlier. The Verizon folks had no problem with my wish to mount the Optical Network Terminal [ONT] inside instead of outside where it usually goes. I spotted about where I thought the hole should go, and he went at it with the skinny, long bit. Once through, he left the whole mess hanging there as an inside locator.
But the already-terminated fiber connector needed to fit through a much larger hole, so next came the 1-inch spade. Through one layer of siding and clapboard ...
whereupon it just kissed the top of the sill piece, making it hard to keep the bit straight. So he finished this half of the hole angling upward, and then went through from inside the basement to meet it. [Let it be stated for the record that communications installers are NOT carpenters.]
Some insulation and cruft was in the way, and soon we were on either side of the wall trying to see each others' light ... and then suddenly the fiber connector popped in at me! I pulled the rest through.
The run got tacked neatly to the joists, roughly following the path of the existing phone lines but farther over to the side of the stairwell.
The excess fiber usually gets coiled up in the backing box for the ONT. Interestingly, this piece is just long enough to get from here, up the house and across the street to the wire swag, and then along that a little way to the optical splitter near the pole. They don't terminate any of this stuff in the field, they just carry a whole lot of pre-built lengths.
Close-up of the connector, called an OptiTap. It's only one fiber strand, I think, which carries light both ways.
Other components: a DC/DC converter power supply that also houses a battery backup, and the smaller box is a 48VDC supply that feeds the whole mess. The ONT can also supply four POTS lines, including loop current and DTMF parsing and D/A conversion right there in the box -- everything except 96 VAC *ringing* works off the battery backup, so if power goes out you can call out on a POTS line but not receive calls. Weird, given that small step-up converters are a dime a dozen these days and a 12V battery could be easily made to generate ringing voltage. Oh, and that's Shayde's old UPS underneath, which feeds the 48V supply and provides even *more* backup.
There was plenty of room to mount all this stuff in the stairwell.
Finally power was applied, and the unit went through a lamp-test and then sat there blinking the "fail" light. But the "network" light was solidly on, indicating a nice healthy signal off the fiber [actually, he measured it with a dB meter before plugging in]. To actually provision the unit, he went out to the *truck* to mess with a wireless-interfaced laptop and tell the upstream management gear to configure the ONT. The unit is a Tellabs AccessMAX ONT 611, and from the sketchy documentation I can find is some sort of ATM bridge. It can carry data, voice, and video [the thing near the right end of the steel box is an F connector], at something like 622 Mbits down and 155 Mbits upstream -- in this case, administratively limited to 15 and 2. Verizon is planning to offer some sort of cable-TV like service over these things. This general strategy is called "triple play" in the market -- voice, data, and video over a single pipe to the home, all fed by a WDM fiber plant.
So naturally *my* laptop was ready to go, and I plugged in. I figured that IF the upstream routing had already been dealt with, I should start seeing traffic since this is a static-IP install. The unit looks like a host and not a hub, so a flip cable is needed. This particular one is from some Interop in the early nineties, in fact...
And lo and behold, something was already trying to find my IP addresses. ARP storms like this are a result of the ceaseless automated scans that mostly originate from trojaned machines the world over. Until something actually answers, all the upstream router can do is attempt to find the target MAC addresses. As soon as I became one of the addresses, I had connectivity -- nothing more needed, and no stupid PPPoE or DHCP dances.
I was also curious about the path and distance between the existing pipe and the new one, and who else might be on the fiber side. Someone's mailserver nearby was about all I could find. It was relatively easy to determine the interface addresses on either side of some of their edge routers, and make a little net map. Interestingly, when Verizon says they give you five IPs, they give you five IPs. It's evidently not a traditional subnetting situation; the upstream router [or the ONT itself] apparently has individual host routes for everything within a class C. So when I expected to see the other three addresses in what I thought was my /29 show up, I was surprised when they didn't. Getting any real info from the Fiber Support Center about how this is done is like pulling teeth, though. They appear to have clued in about many things over the years, but they still insist on not allowing any of the real techs talk to customers even if nobody else can answer a question.
Back outside, the install tech had sort of pulled everything apart including the box terminating the copper lines; he wanted to rerun the drop wires a little more neatly and bundle them together.
The fiber got sort of a drip loop and a blob of putty, as well as a healthy shot of my expandy-foam insulation stuff from the inside, and everything got put back together nicely. The tech mostly works on residential dynamic installs and was somewhat surprised that he didn't have to do any extra setup steps. At this point he was done, so he got to take a nice long lunch.